Learn how to make your own alcohol ink DIY abstract art. This process is simple and so much fun! You aren’t going to want to stop making these fun art pieces.
Have you ever worked with alcohol inks before? These beautiful, vibrant inks are transparent, dry quickly, and create gorgeous marbled, organic designs on slick, non-porous surfaces like ceramics, metal, or glass. I have been wanting to create an abstract art piece using these fun inks for a while now, and I have come up with a fun technique that I want to share with you all today.I first tried to work with the inks on a gessoed canvas, but the surface wasn’t slick enough and I couldn’t use the inks to their full potential. Sad face. Then I thought of glossy vinyl – could that be my surface? I’m happy to tell you that the vinyl worked beautifully, and made it super easy to create a beautiful art piece on canvas.
Supplies needed to make your own DIY abstract art:
- Oracal 651 Glossy White Vinyl (12 x 12)
- Alcohol Inks (I used Raspberry, Shell Pink, Watermelon, Lemonade, Peach Bellini, and Cool Peri.)
- Rubbing Alcohol (at least 90%)
- Drinking Straw
- Paint Brushes
- Heat Gun (optional)
- Acrylic Craft Paint
- 10 x 10 Wooden Canvas
- Paper Trimmer
- Glossy UV Resistant Clear Acrylic Spray
Step One – Drip Alcohol Inks onto the Vinyl.
You can start with either a dry piece of vinyl or by dripping or brushing alcohol over the vinyl. Then drip or squeeze the inks directly onto the vinyl. The alcohol ink bottles have little nozzles, so it’s easy to drip directly from the bottle. If you start with alcohol on the vinyl, then the ink will spread and flow into it.
Step Two – Spread the Inks.
Part of the fun of working with alcohol inks is that they kind of do their own thing. They will flow and mix and create organic shapes that you can’t completely control. However, using air you can kind of direct and shape the inks. It can be as simple as gently blowing through a straw to push the inks in the direction of your breath.
Or, you can also use a heat gun or blow dryer to move the inks.
A heat gun will also help to dry the inks a bit more quickly. Just be careful not to overheat the vinyl as it could warp or melt if it gets too hot.
Step Three – Add more Ink and more Alcohol.
Repeat the process of adding more inks and moving the inks with your straw or heat gun. Play around with mixing colors and see what you can come up with. When picking your colors, I recommend working with analogous color schemes (colors that are next to each other on the color wheel) to avoid ending up with a lot of muddy browns in your piece (unless that’s what you want!).
You can also drip pure alcohol onto the ink for fun results. I used a small brush to dot alcohol on nearly dry sections to create a fun bubble effect.
Just keep playing until you are happy with the piece and enjoy the process.
Step Four – Seal.
When you are happy with your design, set the piece aside to dry completely. Once it’s dry, you can protect your piece with a few coats UV resistant clear acrylic. Be sure to use a glossy finish to maintain that shiny look.
Step Five – Paint Canvas.
While your clear acrylic coat is drying, you can prep your wooden canvas. A couple coats of white acrylic craft paint will help the vinyl to better adhere to the wooden surface and give you nice white edges.
Step Six – Trim and Apply.
When the clear top coat and your white paint have both dried completely, trim your vinyl down to the same size as your canvas. To apply the vinyl to the canvas, start by peeling the backing away from one edge. Carefully line up that edge with the top edge of the canvas. Then slowly pull the backing away from the vinyl with one hand while smoothing it down onto the canvas with the other hand. An old credit card works great for this.
And that’s it! Your awesome DIY abstract art is all done and ready to display. I just love all the details in these projects. They have such an amazing organic look.I hope you will give this DIY abstract art technique a try! It’s so much fun! Happy Making!
More Project Ideas
Alexis Middleton is a lifelong crafter/DIYer and blogger at Persia Lou. She started crafting at a young age. As a girl, she spent summers with her grandmother crocheting baby doll afghans, making coasters out of plastic canvas and yarn, and canning apricot jam. Today, Alexis spends a lot of time dreaming up and working on projects for her family’s home. She loves mixing traditional crafting techniques with a more modern aesthetic.